CPL 2023: Trinbago Knight Riders rope in Phil Simmons as new head coach ahead of upcoming edition

Phil Simmons replaces Abhishek Nayar at the helm of four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

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Phil Simmon
Phil Simmons. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders have appointed Phil Simmons as the head coach of the side ahead of the 11th edition of the Caribbean Premier League. The former West Indies coach replaces Abhishek Nayar, who is the current assistant coach of their sister franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

Phil Simmons, the former West Indies cricketer, who had two stints as the head of the national side, announced his departure from the second stint after a lacklustre showing by his team in last year's T20 World Cup in Australia. Following his departure from international cricket in December 2022, Simmons took over the coaching role at Dubai Capitals in the newly rolled-out International League T20.

He led the Dubai-based outfit to a playoff finish in the inaugural edition of the tournament. Interestingly, Simmons also enjoyed a successful time in the Caribbean competition as he guided Barbados Royals (then Barbados Tridents) to a CPL title in his last stint. TKR skipper Kieron Pollard revealed his excitement about working with his former national head coach.

"As captain, I'm very excited to have coach Phil with us. We have a great chemistry working together as a pair. We've done it in the international scene, and it's great that we are getting the opportunity to work for TKR. Hopefully, this combination will bring smiles and some exciting results back to TKR," Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard said in an official statement.

TKR eyeing a comeback in the 11th edition of the tournament

The Knight Riders are the most successful side in the history of the competition, with their fourth and last title coming in the 2020 edition of the tournament. It will be interesting to see if Simmons, who boasts of quite a pedigree at the top level, can galvanise the side in the upcoming edition of the tournament, which commences on August 16.

Pollard's side finished the season with a wooden spoon last year, for the first time in the team's history. They will kick-off their campaign with a game against 2021 CPL champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on August 19.

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